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Peter Canavan helps launch major health initiative

Local GP, Dr Aifric Shields (chair) and Siobhan Tierney of Errigal Ciaran Health and Wellbeing Committee provide Peter Canavan with a free personal health check. JB30

A MAJOR health initiative aims to help around 200 people in the area covered by Errigal Ciaran GAA club by offering a range of weekly activities.

The club has received an £8,000 Heart Research UK and Subway Healthy Heart grant aimed at helping isolated adults in what’s classified as one of the most deprived and remote areas of the north.

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It was launched on Tuesday night when health checks were provided. These will be repeated at the end of six months, following a series of classes costing just £1, including spinning, kettlercise, yoga, and running via the popular Couch to 5K initiative.

Errigal Ciaran’s Health and Wellbeing committee are spearheading the initiative in conjunction with local GP, Dr Aifric Shields. It follows a survey they jointly conducted which showed two out of three adults in Co Tyrone are not meeting the recommended 150 minutes of weekly physical activity.

“Evidence has shown that people who regularly exercise have lower rates of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, colon and breast cancer, and depression,” Dr Shields said.

“Some people in Tyrone struggle to get to leisure or health facilities, whether it’s because of lifestyle or financial reasons. This project is all about making sure everyone feels encouraged, involved and confident to take part, so they can improve their health.

“I’m very excited to see how much it will benefit those who take part.”

The Heart Research UK’s head of lifestyle, Barbara Dinsdale the Healthy Grants scheme aims to help communities of all sizes improve their heart health.

“This project has the potential to make a real impact on adults in the most remote areas of Northern Ireland, who otherwise would struggle to get to GP services or leisure facilities.

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“We’re very happy to support Dr Shields and Errigal Ciaran Gaelic Athletic Club,” she said.

Members of Errigal Ciaran Health and Wellbeing Committee launching their new health and fitness project after receiving an £8,000 Heart Research UK and Subway Healthy Heart grant. Pictured, Claire Campbell, Ann Monaghan, Malachi McCann, Kelly Marie McRory, Siobhan Tierney, Bronagh Hackett, Dr Aifric Shields and Maura McCartan. JB31

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